DETROIT -- For the Royals' Eric Hosmer, Saturday's game with the Tigers certainly ended better than it started.
Hosmer was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts when he stepped up to the plate with two on and two out in the ninth in a tie game. Hosmer proceeded to pound a changeup from Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez into the right-field seats, a three-run blast that put the Royals up for good in a stunning 7-4 win.
"[Rodriguez] is a guy, he likes his offspeed stuff, so I just told myself to stay back, try and get a good pitch to hit," Hosmer said. "I'd just been missing a lot of pitches throughout the day, so I just figured I'd try and sit on something."
The home run shocked the Comerica Park crowd and made Hosmer a bit wistful of all the famous rallies this Royals team has made over the past three seasons.
"Obviously these are huge games for them right now," Hosmer said. "They're right in the thick of things in the Wild Card.
"It was kind of a flashback of what we do. We obviously got away from it for a couple months and played some up-and-down ball, but this is what we do. We keep it close to the end, we're hard to put away as a team and it was good to see signs of that same team we all remember."
As the Royals near elimination from the postseason, Saturday's win likely won't be remembered long. But Hosmer will keep it in his memory banks: The three-run homer put him exactly at the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career.
"It feels really good," Hosmer said. "It's our job in the middle of the lineup to drive in runs. That's the goal for me and [Kendrys Morales] every year -- drive in as many runs as we can. So it was a good day for both of us."
Morales had hit his 30th homer earlier in the game, the first Royal with 30 since Jermaine Dye hit 33 in 2000.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.